Towels buying guide

We have several different types of plain towel, from basic to beautifully luxurious. This buying guide will explain the different fibres and properties found in each one to help you decide what's best for your bathroom. 

Towel terminology

Combed cotton

Combing removes small fibres to reduce shredding


This stands for grams per square metre and indicates the weight of the towel. The higher the GSM, the heavier the weight, resulting in a more absorbent towel


A ply is a layer or a strand, for example 2-ply is 2 strands of yarn woven together

Zero twist (NX twist)

There is no twist in this yarn, resulting in an extra soft and fluffy hand feel

Egyptian cotton

Our Egyptian cotton originates form regulated sources on the Nile Delta

Supima cotton

This is a silk-like yarn exclusively grown in the USA, with extra long fibres that are smooth and long-lasting

Suvin cotton

A rare cotton with a beautiful hand feel, the most luxurious in our range


This unique construction is terry one side and a flat weave on the other creating a soft and absorbent towel

Our towel ranges

The Basics towels
House by John Lewis towels
Ultra soft towels
Supima towels
Decorative towels
Egyptian towels
Ultimate Suvin towels

Caring for your towels

The majority of our towels are machine washable at 60°C, and we recommend tumble drying to keep them soft and fluffy. Special Buy, branded and waffle towels should be machine washed at 40°C for best results.

Fabric conditioners should be used sparingly and not in every wash as they decrease a towel’s ability to absorb water. You should also avoid using fabric conditioner the first few times you wash new towels, which will allow the excess fibres present to shed.

Make sure your towels don’t come into contact with cleaning products containing bleach. Facial cleansers and skin treatments can contain benzoyl peroxide which can also damage towels so make sure you rinse your skin thoroughly before you dry.

If you catch the towel and pull the pile, snip off the pulled loop with a pair of scissors - don't worry, it won't unravel!